In what the White House says is a bid to streamline information, all COVID-19 data from hospitals will now go to a Department of Health and Human Services database instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts were alarmed, as they rely on CDC data to track the pandemic — and the new database will be closed to the public. Meanwhile, multiple major vaccine candidates are due to start large, federally funded trials this month, including one from U.S. company Moderna, which is seeking 30,000 subjects, and another developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Sessions over. The former attorney general served in the Senate for two decades but was toppled by newbie (and former college football coach) Tommy Tuberville after President Donald Trump threw his weight around. Trump was infuriated by Sessions’ decision to recuse himself during the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Tuberville will face Democrat Doug Jones in November in a crucial race for Republicans to keep control of the Senate. Another Trump darling, former White House doctor Ronny Jackson, won a GOP congressional runoff in Texas, meaning he’s likely to win the seat in November.
Two officers in São Paulo, Brazil, have been fired and charged after footage emerged of them stepping on a Black woman’s neck. The outrage at the incident is reminiscent of that at the death of George Floyd in May. Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro is still in quarantine with COVID-19 and demanded another test yesterday after complaining that he “can’t stand” being kept inside. He also attempted to feed a rhea, a flightless ostrich-like bird, while strolling around palace grounds and was immediately bitten, leading his political opponents to seize on the bird as a resistance hero.
With China’s new national security law putting the squeeze on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, the U.S. has revoked the financial center’s special trade status. President Trump has also given more leeway to impose sanctions on Chinese officials in retaliation for the changes. Meanwhile, the U.K. announced that equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei won’t be welcome on its 5G network, a blow to the company, which has already seen setbacks due to U.S. sanctions. The change will delay the U.K. network’s rollout by a year and cost $2.5 billion.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail as she awaits trial on charges of trafficking minors for deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The Trump administration has reversed a plan to deport foreign students taking online classes because of COVID-19. And the toppled statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, England, has been replaced by a statue of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid.
Before Coronavirus, After Disease: How do we work together to drive change for a better tomorrow? Don’t miss OZY CEO Carlos Watson in conversation today at 9 a.m. PT with Arne Duncan (former secretary of education), Penny Pritzker (former secretary of commerce), Chip Paucek (CEO of 2U), and Carol Quillen (president of Davidson College) on how we pave a path forward. RSVP right here.
Live Curiously: This bold Flashback poster tells visitors to your house that you’re curious about history’s disastrous turning points, dangerous ideas, crazy coincidences, unsung heroes and forgotten villains. It also says, “Hey, let’s binge listen to this podcast I love together.”
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It’s a family matter. A landmark study published in The Lancet yesterday found that largely due to plummeting fertility rates, the global population will peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion before falling — something it’s never done in modern history. Almost two dozen countries, including Japan, Italy and Spain, could see populations drop off by more than 50 percent. While the shrinking population could reduce overcrowding, it may also cause a demographic crisis, with huge aging populations and fewer working-age people to support them.
When Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins changed his voter registration last August, he listed a Topeka address, allowing him to vote in a close City Council race, which was decided by just 13 votes. But now he’s been charged with multiple felonies: The address he registered was a UPS store, and he does not live there. Watkins says it was a mistake — that the UPS store was his campaign’s mailing address — and dismissed the charges as politically motivated. But it could affect his standing in his upcoming primary, set for Aug. 4, against multiple Republican challengers.
Cases of COVID-19 have been spiking dangerously, sending reopening plans in California and Texas into chaos. But between late May and early July, infections decreased by 85 percent in Rhode Island, the best results of any state, OZY reports. That’s partly luck: The state is small and easier to close off to the world than a sprawling state like New York. But there are also lessons to be learned in its early, strict lockdowns and widespread testing program — which many experts attribute to strong central leadership from Gov. Gina Raimondo.
He was on the rat track. The graffiti artist posted a video of himself yesterday, disguised as a cleaner and sneaking onto a London Underground train to stencil pictures of rats using masks. “I get lockdown, but I get up again,” read one message shown in the video, echoing the lyrics of a Chumbawamba song: “I get knocked down, but I get up again.” The artwork, despite the pro-mask sentiment, was removed under anti-graffiti rules, but authorities say Banksy is invited to do another piece “in a suitable location.”
OZY investigates how masks are changing the way we buy makeup.
As it tries to resume the season this month, the NBA has sequestered players in Orlando, Florida, in what it’s calling a “bubble” that everyone’s hoping stays virus-free. As part of that effort, the league has a hotline for players to report people violating bubble protocols like social distancing and mask-wearing. But the reporting process is irking some players, who warned others to avoid “the snitch hotline” or posted the rat emoji on Twitter. Those who break the safety rules are being given suspensions, warnings or campus bans — and often have to restart the quarantine process.